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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > NEW WORLD: Carmenère

Winner Details

New World: Carmenère

2019 Gold 2      Silver 4      Bronze 1      Commended 3
2018 Gold 3      Silver 4      Bronze 1      Commended 8

A couple of years ago we were looking at twice as many medals in this section, four of them Gold, so it was a little disappointing to be back down at the ‘two places on the Gold List’ scenario that we were typically at around 2015.

The problem wasn’t the wines themselves, though – our tasters liked most of what came in – it was that the numbers were mysteriously down. Admittedly, Carmenère can be a divisive grape variety – not everybody loves it.

But done well it’s an undeniably useful point of difference for Chile, and the impressive number of top medals, from sub-£8 to more than £20 shows that it’s something the country’s winemakers understand well. Probably worth a bit more commitment from Los Chilenos next year.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘There was real typicity, and definitely varietal character, throughout the entire flight. They had concentration, ripeness and a menthol herbaceousness. All of these were varietally correct.’ Andres Ituarte, team leader

‘These were very consistent, with different styles going from the riper, with eucalyptus and cassis, to the more elegant, with fresh red berries. There were really good examples of typicity, and the price points were very good too.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

 

Award winners

Found 10 wines

New World: Carmenère

Sur Valles, Santa Alba, Reserva, Carmenère 2017, Central Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

A clear sense of place helped land this Carmenère a sold Gold medal. ‘Excellent typicity,’ said consultant Emanuel Pesqueira, with its ‘pensive cassis and capsicum nose, it takes you straight to Chile’. ‘Super-typical,’ agreed James Fryer of Woodhead 17, adding that as well as ‘all the right bell pepper and vegetal notes’ it had ‘a nice, inky, fresh core of fruit’. ‘Black cherry and plum,’ said Daniel Loughlin of 20 Stories, adding ‘herbaceous notes of mint and rosemary, and it’s elegant with soft tannins’, and suggesting it would ‘match well with duck and game’.

£8.08 Survalles

Veramonte, Primus, Carmenère 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

This Gold Lister really stood out as an interesting point of difference in the line-up. Team leader Christopher Cooper found much to admire: ‘There is lovely delicate and fragrant blueberry fruit, with perfumed, violet top notes. And there’s also a lifted, silky quality to this wine that you don’t normally find in Carmenère. It certainly feels a cool-climate style, with softer tannins on the finish.’ Woodhead 17’s James Fryer agreed, saying: ‘There’s a solid core of juicy black fruit, with notes of mint and chocolate; with fine tannins and a nicely balanced finish.’

£12.10 Matthew Clark

Montes Alpha, Carmenére 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

While James Fryer of Woodhead 17 found notes of ‘bacon fat, sweet spice and pepper’ in this ‘rich and complex wine’, consultant Emanuel Pesqueira detected ‘mushroomy flavours’, and described it as ‘excellent’.

£10.82 Liberty Wines

Viña Requingua, Toro de Piedra, Carmenère 2017, Maule Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Team leader Charlie Young found a lot to love about this wine, describing ‘sweet red fruit aromas’. He further noted: ‘Although soft and juicy, it has energetic tannins and fresh acidity to carry on through.’

£9.85 Survalles

Via Wines, Chilcas, Las Almas, Carmenère 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘A herbaceous first nose with underlying funky red fruit aromas,’ said 67 Pall Mall’s Terry Kandylis, adding that its ‘oak is well balanced in relation to its juicy palate’, and summing it up as ‘very well made’.

£26.95 Viña San Rafael S.A

Siegel, Single Vineyard, Carmenère 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Terry Kandylis of 67 Pall Mall was impressed by the ‘driven leafy nose of capsicum, bell pepper and eucalyptus’ and further eulogised about its ‘dark chocolate, almost gamey palate’, which has ‘a touch of grip from the welcome tannins’. ‘Lovely!’ was his conclusion.

£13.80 Carson Wines

Sutil, Limited Release, Carmenère 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘Black fruits’ were dominant for Daniel Loughlin of 20 Stories, along with ‘spicy black pepper, light chocolate and a sweet fruit acidity on the finish’.

£10.73 Castelnau Wine Agencies

Alma de Chile, Reserva, Carmenère 2016, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, Single Vineyard, Carmenère 2017 2017, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Morandé, One to One, Estate Reserve, Carmenère 2017, Maipo Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

 

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